Overfeeding? Burping up? Hiccups?

[deleted account] ( 2 moms have responded )

Sorry if my questions are silly. I'm a brand new Mom with a six-day-old.

First of all, baby is already back to her birth weight. She is feeding usually every two to four hours but sometimes wants a snack after an hour. I like to feed her until she falls asleep at the breast, pops off, and lies there without trying to return to the nipple. Sometimes, though, she unlatches and isn't crying or frantically searching for the nipple but she does make gentle sucking motions with her lips. It should be noted that she is just a sucker period, breast, fingers, paci... Should I try to re-attach her for more or just assume snack time is over?

Also, lately she's been getting hiccups after feeding. Could this be remedied by changing her positioning at the breast? I burp her but only sometimes does she burp or spit up, however, she might spit up an hour or more later. Do I always need to burp her after feedings? Do I always need to burp her until she burps? At bedtime feedings I don't want to burp her I just want to put her down to sleep with a full belly.

Thanks for your help!

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Julia - posted on 08/06/2010

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If she wants more food, then she will actively swallow in addition to sucking. If she's emptied your breast, then she won't swallow but will likely cry or throw a fit if she's hungry. If she's not doing these things and it seems like she’s just playing with it, then that can have many reasons. She may just want the comfort of being close to you & sucking, she may be bored, or she may just want the pacification. It's up to you to decide what you WANT her to do. There are goods and bads to letting her non-nutritive suck at her age.

For hiccups: if hiccups occur before you’ve heard her burp, it usually is a good sign that she needs to burp. If you don’t know if she’s burped, then rub her back in a circular motion. If she squirms, there is likely still a burp in there. If she doesn’t squirm, then the burp is probably out. Now don’t let the “I’m starving” rooting that babies do deceive you. That is not a guarantee that the burp is out. But if you’ve HEARD a big burp, more than likely ALL of the burp is out. Want to stop the hiccups after they’ve burped? Feed them more.

Regarding burping for babies that are still waking at night to feed: I have many tricks that I teach my parents at the hospital. Please keep in mind, though, that all of these tricks that I am sharing with you now were not taught to me. After burping hundreds if not thousands of babies, I figured out what works & what doesn’t. One of the most important things to remember about burping is that if your baby burps, then they can make room for more food. More food means a fuller belly. A fuller belly means longer sleep, for baby & mom. But if a baby's belly has air in it too then they will likely do one of two things: hold their food down but wake up sooner OR spit up. Now it is typical of breastfed babies to swallow less air but they still can get some. So if you want more sleep, go ahead and burp her. Now be reassured that there are methods to burping that don’t have to wake up your baby. Simply sit her completely upright on your lap, just like you would sit in a chair. Do not let her hunch over. Use your dominant hand to hold her head & the other to support her back. With your dominant hand, cradle her chin in the V between your thumb & index finger. Put your other 3 fingers under her armpit that is further away from you. Check out my pictures on my profile and you’ll see the position I am talking about. Now that you have the position, don't do anything. NO RUBBING, NO PATTING, NOTHING. Count in your head to 60, even 120. MOST babies will burp on their own, without any intervention from you. For the others that this “resting” does not work on: rubbing & patting may be needed but not necessarily in a vigorous or abrupt manner. For these kiddos this positioning is still great. Just simply pat their back gently, I mean gently, to the point where you are thinking, “You have got to be kidding me.” Also try tilting their head back slightly (do so gently as to not flop their head backwards: use the dominant hand to lift & the other hand to support the back & the neck. This support hand will also catch the head and not allow it to fall). Still no burp? There’s always the tick-tock maneuver. Hold the baby under the armpits and allow their lower half to dangle. Move your hands slightly so that their legs resemble a pendulum of a clock moving back & forth. This will allow their body to stretch out and quite possibly straightening their esophagus enough to let the burp come through. Even if no burp occurred during the tick-tock, sit them back down and gently rub or pat their back and it may come through. Still nothing? Try stroking their hair forward on the top of their head. I can count on one hand how many times this particular method has worked for me, thus not very promising. Still nothing? My last resort is the over the shoulder method. Not because I don’t enjoy the maternal cuddling involved but because it takes longer and often the positioning starts off or goes bad. But when done properly, it can work. You have to be sure that her head is up and that it does not fall forward. When their head falls forward, it occludes the esophagus, thus not allowing the burp to come completely out. Of course it is still possible for them to burp this way and occurs either when they lift their own head OR when mom or dad forces the burp out with patting or rubbing. Still nothing? Give up ;). This is the point when I usually just leave them be. My youngest would never burp. I would spend an hour or two burping him and finally realized that I wasted more sleep burping than I did just cleaning up the mess.

Good luck. Hope this advice can help you or someone else.

Givanov - posted on 01/31/2014

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Hi Jullia, i can't see your pictures about this burping positions. it'll be very helpful. thanks

[deleted account]

its always a good idea to burp your baby after a feed... and sometimes in the middle of a feed.

even if they dont burp, i always put my daughter upright and burp her for about 10mins... if something comes up great... if not then you know you tried so its one less thing to rule out if they wake shortly after being put down.

sometimes babies need a break in the middle of the feed. if she pops off but is still sucking... you can try burping and then re-attaching. nursing is hard work for babies and they use alot of energy so they do need the odd break in the middle.

Rachael - posted on 08/05/2010

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breastfed infants with a good latch swallow less air than bottle fed babies or BF babies with a poorer latch so while you should try to burp her between breasts, do no worry if she doesn't burp. Hiccups happen, with my son a few suckles at the breast again cured them. (my Dr. said they could be from him taking a gulp of air after he came off the nipple.) My son sounded like a drunken cartoon for the better part of a month, but they never seemed to bother him. Good luck

2 Comments

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Lynne - posted on 10/21/2017

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Hi!
Julia, How can I see the positions in your reply? I can’t view your profile, thank you!

Ana - posted on 11/26/2015

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Hi Julia! How can I see the pictures of the burping position you mention in the comment? Thank you

Brooke - posted on 08/05/2010

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Congratulations on your little one! My daughter used to make that sucking motion with her lips after I finished feeding her when she was a newborn too. She would do the same thing - unlatch and fall asleep or something but she acted like she was still sucking anyway in her dreams. Funny! No, I don't think you need to reattach her unless she wakes up and acts like she wants more. I think it is just a reflex or something. And Raegan got hiccups all the time too. She had them several times a day but now that I think about it she hasn't had them in a long time. They will probably get better with time. You should try to get a burp out after each feeding to reduce belly aches and spit up. But sometimes no matter how long I try, it just isn't going to happen. I do the same thing you do at the bedtime feeding - I don't wake her up trying to burp her either! Good Luck!!!

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